Monday, May 30, 2011

Blogging 101: Don't lose your reader

NeedleinHayStack copy

I’ve been reading a lot of Seth Godin lately, and honestly…that guy is nearly as smart as Einstein, but in our world of marketing and selling things. I’m not sure Mr. Godin could come up with the Theory of Relativity, but just like Einstein’s theory enriched the world of astronomy and physics, Mr. Godin’s daily blog has enriched the world of marketing and communications, well my world at its simplicity.

He Keeps It Short and Sweet. His blog entries are never too long. He doesn’t lose the reader, and thus came my inspiration for this blog entry: How Not To Lose Your Reader. Here are some tips, and hopefully, you’re still reading.

Here at PubliGestion, we believe CONTENT is king, or queen… but we believe that the content in your blog should represent your brand, your company lifestyle and each and every employee within your organization. That authenticity makes you the needle that stands out of the haystack.

Tip 1: Design, design, design. Make sure your blog looks professional and trustworthy. Who wants to read a blog that looks like a 90's Frankstein web 1.O?

Tip 2: Entertain, but don’t overdo it. If you own a dentists office, yeah, you could blog about root canals, but don’t get into terminology your reader may not understand.

Tip 3: Educate on what you know. Don’t talk about the land if you're a little mermaid, for example. Or, don’t say you’re a web designer if all you can do is HTML on notepad.

Tip 4: Don’t spam. Who wants to receive 10 emails per day about your blog anyway? Okay, maybe your mom, but that’s about it. Don’t make your readers run for the hills.

Tip 5: Have a goal in mind. Have a strategy. Don’t just wake up one morning and say: “My company needs a blog.” Blogging is like marriage, it's a commitment. Are you ready to post regularly and on time? Be smart about your blog—plan, conquer and love it!

Remember, stand out and be BOLD.

If you have more tips and how-to's, leave them below. ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

No blasphemy intended...but we have to face the book.

So today is Monday, and if you couldn’t get out of bed this morning… hey, it’s definitely not the end of the world. To doomsayers’ discontent, life carries on. It’s business as usual and sooner rather than later, our dear world as we know it rises and shines again, continuing its progress.

Here in Haiti Judgment-Day Billboards were on every major road. The message got amplified ten folds with word of mouth, and there were even online ads about “5.21.2011” geo-targeted to us in Haiti.

But alas, if this whole End-of-time will have to wait for some other date, it definitely showed us all how the dissemination of a “one-to-many” message has taken on new proportions, speed and magnitudes. Ask Harold Camping, certainly he knows a thing or two on snow-ball-effect.

With Facebook, Twitter and all the new emerging social-networks, the imparting of information goes global instantly. Nothing new there. Not a shocker.

But food for thought, and please no blasphemy intended, we have to agree, if Jesus does decide to show up next time around, it won’t be a surprise if the first place he goes to is Facebook ;)

Jesus on FB

Monday, May 16, 2011

For the love of whitespace

We know we’re in Haiti but, God bless the Swiss!!! The design world probably owes it to Switzerland for giving birth to the Swiss Style Graphic Design which gave the basis for our modern graphic design sense and how we perceive and use whitespace as designers.

But whitespace is more than just a design style that was attacked and defended in Switzerland. As often demonstrated in Whitespacelover, it’s a discipline. It’s everywhere and in everything we do. It’s the lull between melodies, the calm before a storm, the breath before an I love you too, the stillness in prayers and the silence that allows us to communicate. Whitespace is life!

Even if you’re not a designer, you still live in a world of whitespace! Here are 10 evidences, tips and tricks on why you live in whitespace and how you can deliberately see and tap into it.

1. Whitespace is responsible for comprehension. The gap between spoken and written words are whitespaces. Without it this entry would look like a mush of letters on your screen. Or worst Kate Beckinsale’s sexy voice would sound like mosquitoes raping termites in your ears!

1 - letters a

2. The more whitespace there is in your apartment the more spacious it will look and the more restful the environment will be. Not to mention that it will look better in photos. Try clearing unnecessary items or grouping them in a corner to create more space.

2 - apartment


3. In Taoism The Void is the state of nothingness from which all things become. Incidentally, whitespace is the design element that allows all other design elements to exist. Hmmm, cult of the designers anyone?

3 - tao copy

4. Your perception is greatly affected by whitespace. People tend to perceive something as elegant, classic or high-end in appearance when whitespace is mindfully applied in a design.

4 - Annual-Report-cover a

5. Whitespace is the ultimate something. What makes a Prestige bottle useful? It’s not the actual product we see but the empty space we can’t see that gives those brown bottles utility. Okay! A beer is useful too but don’t throw away your beer on Thirsty Thursdays for the sake of whitespace.

5 - prestige

6. Essential designing principles such as “less is more” and Pareto’s Law, commonly known as 80-20 rule, are basically the wise use of whitespace.

6 - 80-20

7. If you want to design using the Swiss legacy, turn on the grid system in Photoshop (view>show>grid) and design like the Swiss Style Masters. Use ample gaps instead of separators to separate the elements in your layout.

7 - swiss

8. A caution to designers. Amateur or clumsy use of whitespace could make a design look as if the graphic designer went lazy, resulting to an incomplete-looking work.

8 - lorem ipsum

9. Apple, whether their designers are conscious or not, uses whitespace a lot in their OS interface, product design and ads. This naturally leads to an upscale image and a good end user result.

9 - apple

10. Design with whitespace in mind. Premeditate the space you’re given before starting to work. Our designers here at PubliGestion do it by roughly sketching a layout on a paper. They use shapes and lines to assign graphic elements their proper position in the layout.

10 - sketch